NASA is set to launch the Transition Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) telescope into space in about two weeks. The space telescope will use the same planet-hunting method used by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which has discovered about two-thirds of the roughly 3,700 known exoplanets.
TESS will scrutinize more than 200,000 nearby stars for signs of orbiting worlds, many of which could end up being studied in detail by other observatories both space and ground-based.
“TESS is opening a door for a whole new kind of study,”
“We’re going to be able to study individual planets and start talking about the differences between planets. The targets TESS finds are going to be fantastic subjects for research for decades to come. It’s the beginning of a new era of exoplanet research.”
– TESS project scientist Stephen Rinehart, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Until now, NASA has found about 50 earthlike planets using the Kepler telescope. If everything goes according to plans, TESS will be postponed April 16th. TESS assignments initially run over 2 years and total cost $ 337 million. Below is a video that describes TESS a bit closer.